What It Means to Cowork at Granville’s Creative COOP
The need to cowork and collaborate takes us, the human race, back to primitive times; hunting together, cooking together, building together. Working with one another is part of every culture and society.
With a laptop, cell phone, and internet access, you can work from virtually anywhere, reducing the necessary costs of starting your own small business. The drawback is that working from home, alone, at the library, or at the coffeehouse can have an isolating effect, leading to a lack of spontaneous, fluid interactions with other people.
In order for businesses and ideas to grow and cultivate, people need to network, build relationships, and have a deeper connectivity with other people, whether they have similar professions or not. More interaction, ideas, concepts, and thinking often lead to more innovation, creativity, and profit.
It is no surprise that latest statistics show there are over 70,000 coworking spaces globally. We’re drawn to work together.
People unfamiliar with coworking think they can simply renovate a space, add some desks and a coffee bar, rent it, and that’s it. Coworking does not simply mean office rental. A real coworking space is much more than just a place to work.
Full disclosure: I’m an entrepreneur and a chronic small business owner, one of which is a partnership at a coworking space – the creative COOP in Granville, OH, an outer suburb of Columbus in Licking County. And I’m a believer in coworking after spending nearly 20 years either working from home or virtually from all around the world.
Here in our microcosm coworking space, we offer one another mentorship and advice, and we often rely on one another to answer questions outside of our own expertise or experience. It is like having an office without all the office politics.
We ask technical questions when we get stuck or need guidance, or ask how to handle a difficult client situation, or commiserate over the personal ups and downs of having a startup. There are a lot of insecurities that are consoled or affirmed in a true coworking space.
We need to find interactions that are mutually beneficial – not necessarily financial or immediate.
I’ve found that breathing your own exhaust is toxic. Creativity is not rare and it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It is fostered by community, and it is paramount to bounce ideas off one another. In order to evolve, we must step outside our comfort zones and learn from one another.
People choosing to work in a collaborative space should be receptive to this environment.
Coworkers need to be able to participate in some way that contributes to the group. If they are not able to do this or not aware that this is “part of it”, coworking is probably not going to work for them. This not something that can be judged or quantified – it’s a “fit” with the group.
Coworking makes it possible to have a professional environment for meetings.
Our clients almost always want to meet at our office. There’s a cool factor to running a business from an exciting, energetic space where there is always something happening – new people and new stimuli.
If you have a business that could benefit from discussion, collaboration, networking and learning opportunities, we encourage you to look at coworking options in your area.
The goal is to help individuals grow their ideas and businesses to move them beyond coworking.
There are many notable startups that had layovers in coworking spaces – including a little company called Instagram, so if you’re on the fence about coworking, you should go see a few spaces and talk to the people there — I bet you’ll be convinced.
Founded in 2016, the creative COOP, located in Granville, is Licking County’s first coworking space with an 8 desk coworking storefront and an industrial loft feel. In addition to mentoring, coaching, and community, we offer low-commitment desk space, living room area, conference table, high speed internet/wifi, sound system, projector, printer/scanner, shooting space, coffee and beverage bar, mini fridge and water cooler. Most recently we’ve been named “Granville Chamber Success Story” by the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce. Partners include Chad DiBlasio, DiBlasio Photo and Design; Michelle Newman Brady, MNB Marketing; Jodi Melfi, Jodi Melfi Design. Learn more at creativecoopspace.com.
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